India will convince WTO, says Minister

Updated - November 16, 2021 06:44 pm IST

Published - August 06, 2014 02:05 am IST - NEW DELHI:

Asserting that India cannot compromise the interests of its farmers at the WTO, Union Minister of State for Commerce Nirmala Sitharaman told Parliament on Tuesday that New Delhi was confident of persuading WTO members to appreciate the sensitivities of India and other developing countries.

Making a suo motu statement in both Houses of Parliament on India’s stand in the WTO, Ms. Sitharaman said that the country would continue to try to influence the developed countries to see its viewpoint.

She said it would be a major contribution by this institution towards “meeting the global challenge of food insecurity and would convey a strong message that the WTO is genuinely committed to the cause of development.”

In the Rajya Sabha, the members wanted Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien to allow clarifications on the statement on Wednesday. Mr. Kurien said the timing for it would be decided after consultation with the government.

The Minister contended that India did not agree to the Protocol of Amendment to Trade Facilitation Agreement without a commitment to find a permanent solution on public stockholding and on all other Bali deliverables, including those for the least developed countries (LDCs).

She said the protocol was to be adopted by July 31, 2014 by the WTO, and after this, the agreement would automatically come into force from July 31, 2015 if ratified by two-thirds of the WTO members.

“In contrast to their efforts on trade facilitation in the WTO, some developed countries have been reluctant to engage on other issues. Seeing the resistance to taking forward the other decisions, the apprehension of developing countries was that once the process of bringing the Trade Facilitation Agreement into force was completed, other issues would be ignored, including the important issue of subsidies,” she said.

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